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Laos Economy 2010
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SOURCE: 2010 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES

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Laos Economy 2010
SOURCE: 2010 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 15, 2010

Economy - overview:
The government of Laos, one of the few remaining one-party Communist states, began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. The results, starting from an extremely low base, were striking - growth averaged 6% per year from 1988-2008 except during the short-lived drop caused by the Asian financial crisis that began in 1997. Despite this high growth rate, Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. It has a rudimentary, but improving, road system, and limited external and internal telecommunications. Electricity is available in urban areas and in many rural districts. Subsistence agriculture, dominated by rice cultivation in lowland areas, accounts for about 40% of GDP and provides more than 70% of total employment. The government in FY08/09 received $560 million from international donors. Economic growth has reduced poverty rates from 46% in 1992 to 26% in 2009. The economy has until recently benefited from high foreign investment in hydropower, mining, and construction. Laos gained Normal Trade Relations status with the US in 2004, and is taking steps required to join the World Trade Organization, such as reforming import licensing. Related trade policy reforms will improve the business environment. On the fiscal side, Laos launched an effort to ensure the collection of taxes in 2009 as the global economic slowdown reduced revenues from mining projects. Simplified investment procedures and expanded bank credits for small farmers and small entrepreneurs will improve Lao's economic prospects. The government appears committed to raising the country's profile among investors. The World Bank has declared that Laos's goal of graduating from the UN Development Program's list of least-developed countries by 2020 is achievable. According Laotian officials, the 7th Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2011-2015 will outline efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$14.61 billion (2009 est.)

$14.18 billion (2008 est.)
$13.19 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.721 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2009 est.)

7.5% (2008 est.)
7.5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$2,100 (2009 est.)

$2,100 (2008 est.)
$2,000 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 39.2%
industry: 33.9%
services: 26.9% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
2.1 million (2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2.4% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:
26% (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 28.5% (2002)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34.6 (2002)

37 (1997)

Budget:
revenues: $937.1 million
expenditures: $1.123 billion (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2009 est.)

8.6% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
7.67% (31 December 2008)

12.67% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
24% (31 December 2008)

28.5% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$NA (31 December 2008)

$327.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$NA (31 December 2008)

$717.9 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$NA (31 December 2008)

$285.8 million (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry

Industries:
copper, tin, gold, and gypsum mining; timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, cement, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
2% (2009 est.)

Electricity - production:
3.075 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - consumption:
3.068 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - exports:
268 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:
475.9 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
3,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
3,080 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

Current account balance:
$-23 million (2009 est.)

$-52 million (2008 est.)

Exports:
$1.104 billion (2009 est.)

$1.163 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
wood products, coffee, electricity, tin, copper, gold

Exports - partners:
Thailand 35.5%, Vietnam 15.5%, China 8.5% (2008)

Imports:
$1.308 billion (2009 est.)

$1.384 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods

Imports - partners:
Thailand 68.5%, China 10.5%, Vietnam 5.8% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$715 million (31 December 2009 est.)

$803 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$3.179 billion (2006 est.)

Exchange rates:
kips (LAK) per US dollar - 8,556.56 (2009), 8,760.69 (2008), 9,658 (2007), 10,235 (2006), 10,820 (2005)


NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2010 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos Economy 2010 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Economy 2010 should be addressed to the CIA.






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